Christine Shupla Christine Shupla

Partnering with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America

Posted on November 16, 2015 - 12:39 PM CST

Tags: After School | Students | Underserved / Underrepresented | Tag-up (WebEx / Telecon) | Meeting Notes (Tag-ups, etc.) | Spotlight | Planetary Science

In September 2015, Tina Shah, the Senior Director of the Boys and Girls Clubs' STEM initiatives and Educational Foundations (tshah@BGCA.org) spoke during the Planetary Community's monthly tag-up.  She shared a variety of great information about the Boys &Girls clubs; they are eager to work with the NASA science education community:

  • Over 4200 clubs around the world; now in 400 military installations in other countries
  • Their goal is to partner with the local clubs; opportunity and responsibility to afterschool clubs; clubs look for latest trends in STEM, where they are aligned
  • They want to make sure students understand investment in real-world challenges; include cross-disciplinary; incorporate design thinking, problem solving, and 21st century skills
  • STEM development roadmap includes Summer Brain Gain and Great Futures in Science (incl robotics and robotics competitions); they partnered with NASA to develop the modules.
  • Reach 20-30% more youth during summer programs
  • There are opportunities to work more with NASA, for instance in developing DIY STEM modules, technology platforms like My.Future
  • They are looking for inquiry-based; need volunteer help in coding platforms in OK
  • Need help in careers & mentoring; working on a platform (not just STEM but also healthy lifestyles, sports & fitness, early literacy, math literacy, character & leadership skills)
  • Clubs vary—some include makerspaces, interested in STEM design challenges
  • They would love more virtual participation by scientists
  • Possibilities of connecting volunteer networks (such as the Solar System Ambassadors and Night Sky Networks) to clubs